The Local Tap – Brew Dog’s Filming in Old New Castle, a Cautionary Tale

A few weeks ago the Delaware craft beer network (which technically doesn’t exist) was set abuzz by the news that the show Brew Dogs would be in for a week filming an episode for their second season.

For those who are unfamiliar with this show that resides on the channel guide deep, Esquire Channel, it revolves around James Watts and Martin Dickie, owners and brewers for the  renowned (and often thought infamous) BrewDog brewery out of Fraserburgh, Scotland.  The format of the show is fairly simple, James and Martin travel to a well known brewery and there, brew a beer that tries to capture the essence of the area around them.  The show has seen them collect fog for water to brew with Anchor Brewing, brew a beer on a tall ship in Boston harbor (after taking a beer bath with Boston Brewery owner Jim Koch), and brewing the most “American beer” during a 4th of July parade.

This segment of the show is usually  a touch on the wacky side, as both guys run around trying to construct impossible equipment and gather unusual ingredients for their collaboration beer with the chosen brewer.  But other segments are very interesting as they highlight local craft beer bars and interact with craft beer loving (and non-craft beer loving) locals.  One show had them walk into a local bar and ask people there to “borrow” their beers.  The guys then took the beers down the street where a local chief cooked a dish that would pair well with each beer that the guys then returned to the unsuspecting donors to get their thoughts on how well the chief had done.

It should be no surprise to anyone that in the case of Delaware, the Brew Dogs were teaming up with the Dogfish Head brewery in Milton, Delaware.  This not only united the resources and creativity of two powerhouse breweries, but also marked a meeting of the guys with DFH owner Sam Calagione, himself not a stranger to TV beer shows.

The filming I went to watch was the guys visiting The Green in Historic New Castle to hang out and talk beer with the 1st Delaware Regiment.  The 1st Regiment is a living history group that educates people on the role Delaware played in the Revolutionary War.  The group pays tribute to the regiment that Delaware was requested to form for the Continental Army prior to the State’s independence from Pennsylvania.

Colonial reenactors might be an odd sight in some places, but in Historic New Castle the 1st Regiment is a common sight, participating in parades and other town events.  Heck, I’ve even had the pleasure of meeting some of them at beer events or just having a bite to eat at the local tavern.

I arrived about 15 minutes after the supposed start time to find the Regiment members set up and ready to go, but no Brew Dogs is sight.  Not surprising, having lived only blocks from The Green for many years and being a veteran of previous filmings such as Dead Poet’s Society and Oprah Winfrey’s Beloved, I’m well aware that filming is a matter of hurry up, get ready, and then sit around and wait.

But soon the producers and crew began to show up and lay out the shoot and co-ordinate with the Regiment about what was going to happen.  Several of the Regiment were chosen to participate in single shoots were they got to discuss craft beer (and its place in colonial times) with the guys as they tasted what appeared to be DFH’s Palo Santo, although I heard some discussion about aged vs non-aged.

Here’s a gallery of pictures I took during the shoot.  If you click on a picture it will put it in slide show mode and then you can use the arrows to view the rest.  Sorry if they load slow.

The cautionary tale?  Well this happened on a Friday, the following Tuesday I was working on my laptop when I decided to clean out my email.  When I was done I decided to take a quick minute to empty my spam folder and found the following that had been sent to me on April 10th…

Dear Ed,
Master brewers James Watt and Martin Dickie are bringing the craft beer revolution to Delaware to tape Season 2 of their popular show BREW DOGS next week.  Set to air this June on the Esquire Network, BREW DOGS follows these two Scottish rebels as they visit different American beer towns, taste distinctive craft beers, and enlist American brewers to help them create their own outrageous, locally-inspired drafts…
They’re filming in Delaware April 15-18, and I’d love to invite you to the tasting party — the grand finale of the episode — for a behind-the-scenes look at the show.


My reaction was less than subdued.  I just deleted several emails asking me for monetary help, telling me I’d won some UK lottery and (my favorite, from a supposed woman) asking me if I remember her and why haven’t I responded to her emails ; and THIS is the one Yahoo decides needs to go into my spam folder?  Thanks.

Anyway, the email went on to request that recipients release no details of the show (although they were included and I did let it slip on my Facebook page because, you know, at that point I hadn’t read the email yet), but I will say that I’m very interested to see how they navigated the interesting problems that surrounded how they decided to brew.

So let that be a lesson to you boys and girls.  Never trust your email provider, and always check your spam folder.

Time for another beer…

Author: Ed (The Dogs of Beer)

Beer Blog focused on Delaware & surrounding area. Drinker of beer. Writer of stuff. Over user of commas. Dangler of prepositions.

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